Date 27th January 2017
Society Alnwick Theatre Club
Venue The Playhouse. Alnwick
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Sophie Towers
Musical Director Holly Dempsey
Choreographer Sophie Towers


Author: Kathryn Curry

Director Sophie Towers chose to write another twist on Cinderella this year. Alnwick Theatre Club is very good at this alternative presentation of a traditional fairy tale and this was no exception with its twists and turns, especially as they like creativity and double entendre!  However I did hear one little girl in her Cinderella dress say at the interval ‘When is the real Cinderella coming on’!  It certainly was a crazy script but seemed to go down extremely well with the audience as they chuckled and laughed the whole way through, I did however think at times the adult humour was not quite what you would expect in a family panto with an audience majority of children and something to  be considered in the future.

The panto opened in splendour with a colourful set with the narrator (Joe Towers) leading us through the story. He had a clear voice and read with expression but would have projected better had he looked out more to the audience, rather than what appeared to be obviously reading, this in turn would have given him more contact with the audience. Sets, props and lighting were good and scene changes were slick. The costumes were colourful and well thought out and everyone looked good in their various characters.

As always with this group everyone is always very enthusiastic and gives of their best. The audience appreciated this by their interaction at every possible opportunity, hissing and booing and cheering and applauding.  The chorus were lively in their routines and sang well. It’s always a real treat to see the dancers of the Alnwick Academy of Dance take part. They are so talented and a joy to watch and add an extra dimension to the panto. So well done to you all, who came along and danced! You were a credit to your company.

Principal roles were reversed this year and did not follow the traditional pattern.  Fairy Godfather (Peter Biggers) was excellent in this part; he is such a good character actor and always easily engages the audience. Buttons (Peter Lewis) gave a spritely performance in his quest for becoming Cinderella’s beau and not succeeding and he bonded well with the audience. Cinderella (Jimmy Dodds) in his usual inimitable style captured the audience with his humour from his very first entrance and continued to keep the audience laughing throughout the whole of the show. Jimmy worked well with Prince Charming (Helen Gee) who gave her usual full on and enthusiastic performance to the delight of the audience. Her side kick Dan Tiny (Merryn Hughes) looked good and acted well though at times a little too quiet to catch all of the dialogue. Evil Step sisters (Julie Vint and Susan Joyce) were well matched and gave sound performances. Barron Hardoneby (John Firth) made a good job of being the hard done, henpecked husband.

There were lots of surprises and little twists and turns in this story and they added to the fun of the panto. Minor roles too many to mention all worked well together and were sound in their performances. Everyone joined in with the fun and a good evening was had by all.

Once again Alnwick Theatre Club has worked hard to keep this ‘genre’ of Amateur theatre alive and they are to be congratulated on working so hard as a team to give us a splendid evening. Congratulations to Production team, Crew and Cast for yet another very successful pantomime.